Welcome on behalf of the Otsego County Clerk, the Courts, and the Jury Commission.
Jury Duty is one of the most important duties imposed on a citizen.
Jury duty requires that you be prompt, attentive, faithful to your oath, and considerate and tolerant of your fellow jurors.
As a seated juror, your responsibility will be to evaluate the facts and evidence presented in civil suits to determine a fair judgment. In criminal trials, by following the Court's instructions, apply sound judgment in evaluating admitted evidence to determine the guilt or innocence of a person charged with a crime.
If you are selected to serve on a trial, you should also know that you are to have no private contact or conversations with lawyers, prosecutors, or the judge during the course of the trial. If you are selected for a trial, you are not to discuss the case with other jurors, family, friends, or anyone prior to deliberation.
If you have any concerns, please feel free to call the County Clerk's Office at 989-731-7500.
Jury trials are considered the backbone of our justice system, yet many people are unprepared when called for duty. Often, it's because they don't know what to expect - or what is expected of them. This three-minute Answering the Call for Jury Duty video may help to answer some of your questions.
The Selection Process
Prospective jurors are randomly selected by computer from Otsego County residents who possess a Michigan Driver License or State Identification card. You will be sent a Personal Juror Questionnaire which you must complete and return to the County clerk immediately. This questionnaire is a "court order" and failure to return the completed questionnaire may result in an Order to Show Cause from the Court. You should also advise the Clerk of any change in your name or address. If qualified to serve, the term runs from October to September.
Otsego County has a telephone answering system for the use of persons summoned to serve on a particular jury trial. You must call the number listed in your letter the night prior to the scheduled trial to confirm that the trial is on schedule, or that perhaps it has been settled or canceled.
If you are selected for a particular trial and an emergency arises, please call the County Clerk immediately at 989-731-7500.
For any Court appearance, you should dress comfortably but appropriately. Tee shirts, shorts, etc. are not appropriate court attire. Caps and hats must be removed. Keep pocketbooks and other valuables with you at all times. The Court is not responsible for lost articles.
Your Right to Privacy
Deliberations with other jurors in a trial must be confidential. You have a right to your privacy and you do not have to discuss the case with anyone. The Court will do its best to protect this valuable right.
Jury trials normally run from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. In some instances, the trial may run beyond 5 pm.
Jurors are paid $0.40 per mile, and:
- $30 for the first full day
- $15 for the first 1/2 day
- $45 per day for each subsequent day
- $22.50 per each subsequent 1/2 day
Payments are made by voucher process upon discharge by the Court. Vouchers are redeemed at the County Treasurer's Office.
Jurors must furnish their own transportation. All parking violations and tickets must be paid by you, unless you are selected to serve on a trial. In that event, you will be given a parking permit to display on your dashboard.